tv [untitled] August 15, 2012 3:00am-3:30am PDT
but this project is the only one to offer it. the project sponsor has been so cooperative with us. we have had at least 12 meetings, lasting two hours each. we have gone back and forth on an agreement. we have gone back and forth on what amenities should be provided. the project sponsors have been so incredibly cooperative. they are going to provide us with an on-site community space that can serve as a visitor center for the castro, something much needed. the on-site inclusionary housing. they have agreed to do more to the streetscape than what is required, which has a high value to it. the have really been working. i urge you to approve this project. we have 300 members. that is in addition to the 2000 newsletters we distribute. 2300 people have gotten of this
on this. thank you. >> good afternoon. residential builders association. i got my first call about this project three or four years ago, from peter cohen, representing eureka valley neighborhood association. there were perhaps two or three others. there was a long list of issues and concerns. through a lot of dialogue, through a good open process, these groups have managed to work through a lot. it is not often that you can satisfy all these groups. when you can, it is noteworthy. you can never satisfy everyone. it is difficult. i can assure you there was years of outreach done on this
particular project. as you can see by the letters of support, it is noteworthy. president fong: additional public comment? i am afraid we allow each person to come up for 3 minutes. i am sorry. is there additional public comment from those who have not spoken yet? that closes the public comment portion. commissioner antonini: i have a few questions. i guess the first is in regards to the height. the zoning is ok, 465 feet in this area. >> that is correct. it is zoned for -- it is a 65 foot height district. commissioner antonini: this does
a lot of good things. the neighborhood space, one side affordable. it was eight. it is 6 now. we have talked about the height issue. it was concerning to me that the project sponsor's architect said there had been a contract to will design that had been brought out a couple of years ago. it was changed. i do not remember us being consulted about the design. that does not usually happen. there is staff input. maybe there can be an answer of why this was modified. it is out of context with the neighborhood. >> as part of the upper market planning process that started several years ago under former supervisor duffy, there was a series of parcels that had
development potential identified. this was one of those. after a long series of meetings in the neighborhood, it was determined that a more contemporary approach to building design on these sites would be appropriate. they felt that, given the potential for larger projects, that a more contemporary type of design would be more appropriate and would help revitalize and draw more business along the corridor than buildings that mimic the historic facades. commissioner antonini: for use in the neighborhood said this
are planning staff? >> this came out of a planning process with the neighborhood groups. what is before you today is the result of many hours of very close negotiations. and number of associations and the sponsor -- that is what really move this building from where it had been to where it is today. the neighborhood associations are wanting a building that looks like this. commissioner antonini: i heard discussion from a number of speakers today who spoke as individuals, who were somewhat troubled by the appearance. i would assume it was very well vetted, as you have said. it would have been nice if -- i know this is not always possible, but early in the process, if commissioners can get a look at what is being discussed. it has happened a number of times where a plan comes
forward, and because the commission has not spent time on it, the signs are modified, more cost is in gendered, and we wind up with a new design. -- is engendered, and we wind up with a new design. we need to get an r look at this, and then we are able to put in put in sooner and save -- put an early looked in sooner and save redesign. there is a design finalization that will come back to us in a month. i think that is very important. i have some feelings about this. i know other commissioners will have input as well. i am not so sure about the flat iron end of the building, the angle that is less than 90
degrees. when you have these open areas, particularly the higher one along the top -- i am not sure the purpose of that. that seems to be a little bit unusual. there are a few other things regarding the design which i am not happy with. i like the project. it makes a lot of sense, and certainly is a big improvement over the gas station. vice president wu: i am also interested in the idea of under- utilized sites. it means you can develop housing without displacement. i also like the mixed use nature of the building. i have some questions about the community space. if i could ask both the architect and the project sponsor -- has the community space actually been designated within the retell footprint?
-- retail footprint? >> i will put the plan up. the community space is independently accessed from castro street. this is market street. this is castro street. the community space has its own storefront interest, if you will, and it has its own access. all the retail is along the market, turning a corner of castro street. it is a separate entity. vice president wu: who manages the space, and what will access be like? >> i think that is what took a lot of the negotiation. it was not designing the space as much as how it is going to be managed in the future.
>> the community groups are going to manage their own space. vice president wu: 1 entity in particular? or is there a partnership? commissioner moore: i apologize for being a couple of minutes late. not having the public comment, i do not see any substantive comments against the project. i find it very much in keeping of the detailed follow-up work on the guidelines for upper market street at a time when the department was encouraged to add that portion of market street to the planning. i am in support of the architecture. i find the rather modest approach on mundanity quite acceptable, would say this
project is not actually the contextual building. i would say it is contextual. i find the expression reminiscent of the ideas of how we encourage residential buildings to express the use behind them. i am in full support. cp ommissioner hillis: the parking ratio? >> that is the maximum permitted. commissioner hillis: the south portion of the property that abuts the adjacent property, the walkway and the entry -- is that right up against the property line of the neighboring
property? if you could just describe that facades -- facades. >> maybe i can put on the site plan, so it is easiest with the drawings. this is the property line wall? commissioner hillis: the south wall. >> there are two property line walls. i got my north and south confused. where the palm trees are on the walkway. >> the palm trees are not on this property. they are on the neighboring property, which is along state street. that is about 14, 15 feet wide.
that is not part of this project. the project goes up against it, but for more than half of this project, it is below that. for more than half of this project, it is below the existing grade of this walkway. this part of the project, we're very careful to reduce the height of the building. it goes down to four stories and is set back. commissioner hillis: are you trying to maximize the light and air? >> castro is a very different street than market street. we thought the building could be broken down on castro acommissik the palm trees can handle that? >> i hope. i am not an arborist. but one would hope the city trees are protected on the sidewalk. >> mr. president, if i might --
those of you standing in front of the door of created a fire hazard. if you can move to the opposite side of the room or find a seat, that would be preferable. president fong: we have already opened up for public comment. >> that is not part of the process. >> perhaps one of the commissioners might ask you to comment. commissioner hillis: i would echo support of a project on the site. it is a great site to convert from a gas station to actual housing. i think it is a good site for more contemporary architecture. commissioner antonini: the space where the palm trees are and the walkway -- is that private?
it is not city right of way. it is privately maintained? >> that is correct. it is on the adjacent property. commissioner antonini: just a question for a moment. they look pretty good. i am not sure if this is sandstone. >> that is something we continue to refine with the neighborhood groups. the 3 d model renderings were done a while ago, nine months or so ago. we put a place holder of material, and some of the comments were that it was too cold for the neighborhood, the gray stone and concrete. we are now looking at the material, a terracotta tile material, that would be put on. the next meeting at the neighborhood groups would be refining the colors and the corner detailing. we are looking at terracotta,
which is warmer. we are looking for a variety of colors in the terracotta to lighten up or make the building and little more approachable, if you will. commissioner antonini: i think it is a good project, and there has been a lot of work going into the design. somebody did make a reference to things that did not fit in. i grew up there, and they have done a wonderful job on their main street. not the areas by hacienda park, although that is done pretty well for what it is. it is a commercial park. when i grew up, they had a lot of ugly 1950's buildings, where they tore down victorians and older buildings.
subsequently, they have torn down the ugly 50's buildings and put up contextual buildings out of wood, out of masonry. it seamlessly fits together, and that is why they draw thousands of people for parades. the mile down the main street -- they have a lot of parades' there. the cannot build things that fit in from the older buildings around them without mimicking them. it can be very attractive. anyway, i think it is going to be a good project. i am in favor of it, and i hope to continue to work with staff on any design modifications. commissioner moore: having heard all the positive comments, it is time to move to approve. in the adjoining neighborhoods, going up castro street, it is a
360 degree circle. there are inspirations for color, most of them being in the warmer tone of ocher to a lighter color. i think a problem in one of your renderings is that you were using a cold color, which makes it look very harsh and does not show the positive aspects. >> does your motion include the condition that the project -- >> it is informational. commissioner sugaya: that was my question. >> the motion on the floor is for approval, with the condition that the design come back before you at an informational hearing. on that motion -- commissioner antonini: aye. commissioner moore: aye. commissioner sugaya: aye vice president wu: aye. president fong: aye.
>> the motion passed unanimously. >> on the rear yard modification, a close the public hearing, noting that it is a modification, not a variance from the planning code requirements. they have met the planning code, given the unique quality of the site. >> commissioners, you are now on items seve -- 7a and 7b, 491- 499 haight street. we are going to ask that you allow two presentations, one for the conditional use and one for the variance. president fong: at separate
times? >> back-to-back. and then take public comment. >> good afternoon. elizabeth watty, planning department's staff. the existing elevations in your pockets are mislabeled as proposed elevations. i am sorry for the confusion. i am submitting a revised sheet. the substance has not changed at all, only the labeling and the page numbers. this was existing, not proposed. on to the project. the case before you is a request for a conditional use authorization for formula retell to operate in the commercial space. this base is located on the ground floor, on the southeast corner of haight and fillmore street. there was a large fire that
caused excessive damage to the building in september, 2011, and the building has been vacant since. the planning commission is required to consider the concentration of formula retail in the district and the compatibility with the best that the character. there is a neighborhood existing with retail uses in the district. the project will not affect the concentration of formula retail uses in the district. this district is predominantly occupied by independent businesses, and his property was in spite of the only retail part in the district. the project has worked with the
product sponsor extensively to make sure it will be compatible with the is that the character surrounding neighborhood. the project will result in an improved facades. a conditional approval requires these windows to remain unobstructed in the interior of the space. in terms of vacancy rates, there are approximately 11 other vacant storefronts throughout the district. the department has not received additional comments since the packets were published. there are approximately four people with concerns, however, they are predominantly about the renovation is occurring on the residential floors, which are not the subject of the conditional use. the project has been found to be both necessary and desirable, since it would serve a retail pharmacy back to the neighborhood. the project is well-suited for a formula retail tenant.
it would improve active use. it would not increase the concentration of formula retail uses within this district. based on these findings of those articulated in the case report, the department recommends you approve. president fong: the weaker the project sponsor next? >> the project sponsor, and then the variance. >> thank you. andrew junius for the project sponsor. foremost, it is obvious we would like to get a pharmacy and reopened here as quickly as possible. there is not one in the area. the closest one is at market and church. the residents are hoping this gets approved a moves ahead quickly. merchants in the area have also told us they are missing the
foot traffic that a large retailer at this corner provides. i think we are all excited to transition this corner from what is there now, which is pretty bland, transitioning it to -- that is where we are today. hopefully, by spring and summer of next year, we will be looking at a significant improvement, in terms of looking into the store being the condition reference. you are seeing a lot of reference to the new street frontage controls leading to new glazing. it is an active debate. i hope pedestrians enjoy it as
well. you may have questions, so i will leave it at that. president fong: thank you. public comment on this item. >> the presentation on the variance? >> staff does not have the separate barry and presentation, but is -- a separate variance presentation, but it is our understanding the project sponsor would like to make one. >> the building was earlier damaged in a fire. there are twisting risers.
the retail floor goes to the property line, in the required rear yard said back. the second thing i would like to do is take a vintage of the roof over the grand -- the ground- floor retail, and make that an outdoor space for several of the units on the first floor. currently, there is no outdoor space for any of the units in this building, which would be required if it were built today. we would also like to add of unease on to some of the units that face south over this first floor area. that would give them outdoor space. that is the variance with those items.
>> can you state your name, for the record? >> michael harrison, project architect. president fong: public comment. i have one speaker card, sandra mac. >> i have been a resident living within two blocks of that area for the last 45, 50 years. i just have a couple of questions. one has to do with the sidewalk on the western side of the building. currently -- before walgreen's burned, you could go down the western slope. you may notice there is a bus stop there with a lot of traffic going up and down, with all of
the restaurants. in order to get items into -- to load items into the pharmacy, they had done something to the sidewalk. when you walked down that area, it was not repaired. i understand, talking to the architect today, that is not likely to be the case. that is what i have for 7a. i just wanted to ask about light and air, when people talk about changing things to add to the building footprint. i am always concerned what will happen to any windows.
obviously, fire should not be a free pass for noncompliance. we should make sure that whatever changes are made should be made to make things and better, not to take away from the rights that neighbors have. president fong: thank you. i believe there is one more speaker card on the bench. if you have public comment on this item and you are prepared, come on up. if you are ready with that. >> i understand we are not dealing with tenants rights issues. i am a former tenant, planning to move back in. i do not know that you can see.
i just wanted to go on the record that the numbering that has been done for the so-called existing units is not the numbering that we had. therefore, my address was apartment 9, but on these plans, it is apartment five. i want that to go on the record. as you can see, they have taken out four of the five light wells. i would prefer to have a light will -- well than not, to lose that next to my apartment. there is a major difference in the size of departments two and 16 -- apartments two and 19. if you look at those changes, i think that is the biggest change.